The 1991 Halloween Nor'easter, also known as the Perfect Storm was a nor'easter that ultimately spawned Hurricane Eight during the 1991 Atlantic hurricane season. This was the final storm of the season, as well as the fourth hurricane. Eight developed on October 28, and dissipated on November 3. It eventually made landfall in Nova Scotia as a tropical storm. Eight was the second costliest storm of the season, second only to Hurricane Bob. Although the formation of a tropical cyclone within an extratropical cyclone is unusual, it is not unprecedented. An example prior to this was Hurricane Karl in 1980.
Eight caused $208,000,000 (1991 USD) in damage, mainly as an extratropical cyclone, and caused 12 fatalities, all direct.
|Formation||October 28, 1991|
|Dissipation||November 3, 1991|
|Highest winds||75 mph|
|Lowest pressure||980 mbar|
|Damages||$208,000,000 (1991 USD)|
|Areas affected||New England, Atlantic Canada|
|Part of the||1991 Atlantic hurricane season|
Precursor extratropical cyclone to Hurricane Eight.In October 1991, a confluence of weather conditions combined to form a killer storm., a baroclinic cyclone developed along a cold front which had emerged off New England. According to surface observations, the low was initially located a few hundred miles east of the coast of Nova Scotia at 1800 UTC October 28. The associated deep-layer circulation soon became the dominant feature over the western Atlantic Ocean. Hurricane Grace was pushed off to the east by the westerly steering flow associated with the southern periphery of this extratropical cyclone. As the extratropical cyclone was intensifying, a vigorous cold front, trailing south-southwestward from the extratropical cyclone, absorbed Grace by 1800 UTC October 29. While drifting southeastward and then southwestward, the extratropical cyclone continued to deepen. By October 30, the baroclinic system was moving westward and it reached its peak intensity as an extratropical cyclone around 1200 UTC October 30 while located about 340 miles south of Halifax, Nova Scotia. During this time, the cyclone had winds of 70 mph, along with a minimum central pressure of 972 mb. After peaking, the cyclone turned to the southwest, then south, with the central pressure gradually rising during this time. By 0000 UTC November 1, the pressure had risen considerably, to 998 mb. However, in spite of the rising atmospheric pressure, the southward component of motion brought the low over warmer water temperatures of about 26°C. Subsequently, convective bands began to develop. At 1800 UTC October 31, it is assumed that the low acquired subtropical characteristics.
Eight as a subtropical storm.
By 0600 UTC November 1, enough deep convection had developed and organized around the center of the low for it to be designated a tropical storm. At around 1500 UTC that day, visible satellite imagery indicated that an eye was developing within the center of the newly developed tropical cyclone, which indicated that the cyclone was near hurricane strength.
The storm turned southeastward, then eastward, and then finally northeastward as it executed a counter-clockwise loop. At around 0000 UTC November 2, when reconnaissance aircraft investigated the cyclone, they had confirmed that the cyclone had already attained hurricane status. The hurricane accelerated northeastward and around 1400 UTC November 2, made landfall near Halifax, Nova Scotia as a rapidly weakening tropical storm. The cyclone dissipated just north of Nova Scotia about 10 hours after landfall.
Eight at landfall as a rapidly weakening tropical storm.
The 1991 Halloween Nor'easter caused significant damage in New England, amounting to $208,000,000 (1991 USD) in damage, mainly in New Jersey and Massachusetts. In addition, the storm caused 12 fatalities, 6 of which were onboard the ship Andrea Gail as well as one Air National Guard pararescue jumper, TSgt Arden "Rick" Smith. The storm produced a storm surge in excess of 5 feet, along with a storm tide of more than 13 feet across New England. In addition to this, the storm produced waves as high as 30 feet across coastal New England.